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Hello everyone and welcome to my last post of the week. I hope you all are really getting something out of what I’m doing here. Since Wednesday was part one of the war on terror in Afghanistan, it is now time for part two of the war on terror in Iraq. Let’s get this thing done…we are burning daylight.

The Iraq war, also known as the Second Gulf War, began March 20, 2003. The invasion led by the US, UK, and troops by other nations as a multinational coalition. The purpose of the invasion was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and regime change for the Iraqi people. While removing Saddam Hussein from power proved relatively easy stabilizing the country and securing it proved quite difficult due to unrest among the various peoples of Iraq as well as the emergence of foreign fighters including Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Amongst the excuses for entering into the war in Iraq was the idea that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, (weapons of mass destruction) and/ or had operating programs for production of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and that these weapons posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. This was supported by intelligence from a variety of nations including British Intelligence. There was also intelligence from Russia linking Iraq with terrorism, and Germany supplied intelligence in preparation for the war. It has been concluded that neither Russian, nor German intelligence confirmed the presence of WMD in Iraq. Weapons inspectors also found no evidence of WMD, and the Iraq Survey Group determined that Iraq’s WMD programs ended in 1991 and that there were no active programs at the time of the invasion.

Another reason for the invasion was the accusations made by some US officials that Saddam Hussein was harboring and supporting Al Qaeda and the support of families of Palestinian suicide bombers. No proof of a collaborative relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda has been proven to have existed. Other reasons for the invasion include Iraq’s human rights abuses and Iraq’s oil reserves.

Both of our Presidential candidates have very different views of how to deal with Iraq. John McCain believes that the surge in Iraq has worked and advocates’ staying there until the war is won, and supported the war from the onset. Barack Obama says he has been against the war from the beginning, and advocates a 16 month timeline for troop withdrawal. There is even a side by side comparison of the two men on their positions for how to deal with Iraq.

Regardless of how any of you may feel about the war in Iraq and the reasons for us being there we are there now. While intelligence and investigation has proved there were no WMD in Iraq at the time of the invasion, we know that at one time Saddam Hussein possessed WMD as evidenced by intelligence, photographical, and eye witness accounts of the use of WMD by the Iraqi government against the Kurds in the north, and against his own people right in the heartland of his nation. We also know from one of his top generals, Georges Sada, that WMD elements were relocated outside of Iraq and into Syria prior to the invasion. As far as harboring Al Qaeda goes, even if he didn’t harbor Al Qaeda, he had some relationship with terrorist organizations because their camps were found in the north of Iraq after the invasion of Iraq was completed. These camps were used to train, equip, and finance terrorists.

There is no mistaking the fact that Saddam Hussein was a bad man, and the world is better off with out him and his Baathist regime in power. We also know that while the initial invasion and deposition of the Iraqi government was successful, we also know that violence and atrocities like Abu Ghraib as well as abuses against its own citizens were the rule rather than the exception for quite some time after the invasion. However with the success of the surge of 2007 and the fact that the Iraqi people and their own government are finally starting to take over their own country and appreciate their new national identity as fragile as it is. I don’t see how we can just up and leave and run the risk of the whole Iraq experiment in democracy becoming an absolute failure.

That is all I have to say on the subject of the Iraq war right now. As usual I can only find the facts and present them to you; you still have to decide for yourself where you stand. Have an awesome weekend, and I will see all of you right here next week, CIAO4NOW!!!!!


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